Women, Culture, and Community

Women, Culture, and Community : Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920

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Why in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries did middle- and upper-class southern women-black and white-advance from the private worlds of home and family into public life, eventually transforming the cultural and political landscape of their community? Using Galveston as a case study, Elizabeth Hayes Turner asks who where the women who became activists and eventually led to progressive reforms and the women sufferage movement. Turner discovers that a majority of them came from particular congregations, but class status had as much to do with reofrm as did religious motivation. The Hurricane of 1900, disfranchisement of black voters, and the creation of city commission government gave white women the leverage they needed to fight for a women's agenda for the city. Meanwhile, African American women, who were excluded from open civic association with whites, created their own organizations, implemented their own goals, and turned their energies to resisting and alleviating the numbing effects of racism. Separately white and black women created their own activist communities. Together, however, they changed the face of this New South city. Based on an exhaustive database of membership in community organizations compiled by the author from local archives, Women, Culture, and Community will appeal to students of race relations in the post-Reconstruction South, women's history, and religious history.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 155.2 x 233.4 x 25.9mm | 587.22g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 019511938X
  • 9780195119381

Review quote

"Scholars of many disciplines will find this work a valuable tool. It is thought-provoking, scholarly, and informative, and the summaries at the end of each chapter prove invaluable....Turner is to be commended for the depth of her research and her significant contribution to the field of history."-Catholic Southwest "This highly readable account reveals how significantly the effects of natural disaster can shape the relationship among politics, gender, and culture. An important contribution to women's history, southern history, and urban history."-Choice "An informative and insightful case study of the evolution of women's public and political activism in Galveston, an important gateway to the West. Turner's examination of life in the port city before and after the 1900 storm focuses on the responses of the inhabitants who rebuilt Galveston as the organizational fervor of the Progressive Era spread thruoghout the nation's cities, and as minority groups, especially people of color, were forced out of politics and into segregated spaces....Women, Culture, and Community offers a range of provocative insights and new material for understanding Progressive Era reforms movements." -New Mexico Historical Review "...finely researched...Some of the most interesting and original parts of Turner's book reveal women who went against type. Her fascinating portrait of the United Daughters of the Confederacy shows them playing a leading role implanting the 'true' version of southern history in school curricula."-American Historical Review "This is a book that should appeal to a wide audience in the universities-it is women's history, urban history, church history, Gilded Age history, Progressive Era history, African-American history. And best of all, it is smart history. Its author is not afraid to speculate, but she always makes clear when she is musing and her speculations rest so solidly on evidence that the reader is prepared to nod in agreement."-Georgia Historical Quarterly "Elizabeth Hayes Turner has produced a thoroughly researched and gracefully written study of women's activism in Progressive-era Galveston, Texas....(H)er work offers an instructive caution against the easy formulas that too often mask the complex ways in which women and men make their history."-The Journal of Southern History "Women, Culture and Community... is well-written and well-organized. The opening chapter is spellbinding as the disaster unfolds. Turner then recreates the role of women in Galveston prior to and after the storm by methodically tracing their importance to Galveston society."-Southwestern Historical Quarterlyshow more

About Elizabeth Hayes Turner

Elizabeth Hayes Turner is Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston-Downtown. She is currently Visiting Managing Editor of the Journal of Southern History.show more

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